What was the Climate Change Festival?
The Climate Change ‘Festival’ originated in early 2015 through collaboration between members of GCU Students’ Association, the GCU Sustainability Team and the GCU Engagement Team. It was held at various locations across campus from Monday 2nd March to Friday 6th March 2015, in conjunction with and in support of Fairtrade Fortnight (February 23rd to March 6th 2015).
The week-long programme of events included workshops, activities and talks raising awareness of various environmental issues, primarily in an effort to reinforce the University’s commitment to working together to promote sustainability on the GCU campus, and encourage students to re-form a GCU Environmental Society. The Climate Change Festival also provided ample opportunity to sample Fairtrade products and promote GCU’s Fairtrade University status.
What happened during the 2015 Festival?
Monday 2nd March (3pm-5pm): ‘Our Climate is changing … Change with It’
Hosted by the GCU Students’ Association’s Ethical & Environmental Officer, Graham Allen, the audience was introduced to speakers from People & Planet, Green Glasgow, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Xchange Scotland who informed the audience of various environmental campaigns and opportunities. There was also a chance for our guests and audience to network, and explore our various stalls.
Tuesday 3rd March (10am-7pm): ‘Power for Change’
Throughout the afternoon we included pedal-powered generators in the Student Bistro and held demonstrations to raise awareness of energy consumption. This was followed in the evening with a pedal-powered cinema hosted by GCU’s Sustainability Officer, Paulo Cruz, where various short films and documentaries were shown.
Wednesday 4th March (2pm-4pm): Gardening Workshop
Our gardening workshop led by local community organisation Urban Roots turned into an informal discussion which led to ideas to transform GCU’s ‘green’ areas and increase biodiversity by encouraging community gardening.
Thursday 5th March (12pm-3pm): Energy Saving Workshop - St. Joseph’s Primary School
Primary 5 and 6 pupils from St. Joseph’s Primary School visited the University’s Students’ Association for a tour and to take part in an energy saving workshop led by the GCU Engagement Team. The children were split into four groups and learned about energy saving ideas which tied into the school’s curriculum. The four groups, assisted by Student Mentors, each developed a poster and slogan which will be digitised and turned into an environmental campaign led by the GCU Sustainability Team in Academic Session 15-16.
Friday 6th March (3pm-4pm): Environmental Society Discussion
Students and staff were invited to hear from members of Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST), Glasgow University Climate Action Society (GUCA) and NUS Scotland who advised on environmental campaigning and forming a student-led, staff-supported Environmental Society.
What happens now?
Like all good things, the ‘Festival’ came to an end and many positives were drawn from each of the events throughout the week. However, the environmental issues remain, and the will to tackle them must be sustained.
After generating student and staff interest throughout the week, we are now ready to re-launch the GCU Environmental Society in a new light, with a unique structure and a fresh approach. If you have any form of passion for or interest in promoting sustainable behaviours on our campus, whether you’ve just started your programme or you’re one of our senior staff, you meet the criteria for joining our team. This is the opportunity to be part of a pioneering effort here within the Students’ Association, and to be part of a group with limitless potential and vast opportunity.
If you would like to find out more about the formation of the GCU Environmental Society where we have Committee positions available, please see the relevant tab, or contact the Ethical & Environmental Officer, Graham Allen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.